Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Taizé: The last large youth meetings in 2014

Posted on: October 29th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

During these two weeks, thousands of French youth have arrived in three waves. The most numerous have come from Lille, Nantes, Grenoble, Rennes, and Pontoise but all regions of the country were represented. Nearly a dozen bishops have accompanied the young people from their dioceses.

Previously, a particularly striking visit in September was that of three bishops from Kenya, who had wanted to spend a day at Taizé during a visit to France. Also in September, the Minister General of the Franciscans, Brother Michael, with his council and a hundred young Franciscan friars from various countries, spent several days of prayer and sharing in Taizé.

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News from Taizé by e-mail – 29 October 2014

Dr Alyson Barnett-Cowan to act as Interim Secretary General

Posted on: October 28th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

 

Alyson Barnett-Cowan said she is “happy to fill in to bridge the gap while the search process is going on”                                                                           Photo Credit: LWF/Maximilian Haas

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From the Anglican Communion Office

The Rt Revd James Tengatenga and Mrs Elizabeth Paver, Chair and Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee, Anglican Communion, have appointed the Revd Canon Dr Alyson Barnett-Cowan as Interim Secretary General.

Canon Barnett-Cowan, who will retire at the end of January as Director for Unity Faith and Order, has agreed to be a half-time consultant for the position until the position of Secretary General has been filled. She will be based at her home in Canada but will work at the Anglican Communion Office for some days each month.

Canon Kenneth Kearon, the present Secretary General, will leave the post at the end of December as he has been elected Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe in the Church of Ireland. His consecration date is January 24.

Canon Barnett-Cowan said that she has surprised herself by undertaking this task as she was looking forward to her retirement, but that she is happy to fill in to bridge the gap while the search process is going on.

The Standing Committee meets at the end of November to review the job description for the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion and to set the appointment process in motion.

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Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS), October 28, 2014

Clarify ‘church activity’ with insurers, motion urges

Posted on: October 27th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

 

By Harvey Shepherd

 

A visitor to the lawn of Christ Church Cathedral protects himself from the autumn chill. Photo: Harvey Shepherd


Anglicans in the diocese of Montreal think ministry to the marginalized and vulnerable is a normal church activity—and hope the Anglican Church of Canada will help make that clear to insurance companies and law courts.

At least that’s what a motion adopted by an overwhelming vote at the diocesan synod Oct. 18 says. Dean Paul Kennington of Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Montreal—among churches where apparently homeless people hang out or even bed down on the church steps or lawn—said he hopes the motion would help reinforce the potential risk to a parish if someone sued it as a result of an incident.

The motion is to be transmitted to the national church’s Council of General Synod (CoGS), the governing body between General Synods, in the hope of eventual consideration by the General Synod. (General Synod is the chief governing and legislative body of the Anglican Church of Canada.)

The dean said staff became concerned about the issue as a result of an incident some time ago involving a fight between the dogs of two people camping on the lawn of the cathedral, although the incident did not actually lead to a lawsuit or insurance claim.

Diocesan Chancellor David Eramian said an insurance company executive had told him a parish insurance policy would not protect the parish in such a case because allowing homeless people to camp out is not a normal church activity. The chancellor said a court would not necessarily rule the same way.

The dean said that ministry to the poor and the vulnerable is not an easy task and may mean ministry to prostitutes, drug dealers and sex offenders, following the example of Jesus. But it is “a non-negotiable part of the gospel.”

Responsible risk-taking means due diligence to try to minimize hazards, he said.

“But do we give up and let insurance companies decide what is a normal church activity?”

 

— Harvey Shepherd is editor of The Montreal Anglican, the newspaper of the Anglican diocese of Montreal.

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Anglican Journal News, October 27, 2014

‘Stand strong against violence or hatred’

Posted on: October 27th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

 

By Art Babych

 

(L to R) Rabbi Barry Schlesinger of the Agudath Israel Congregation,  Imam Samy Metwally from the Ottawa Main Mosque and  Padre John Fletcher, Chaplain General to the Canadian Forces take part in the interfaith service in Ottawa. Photo: Art Babych


More than 200 people turned out for an interfaith service of unity and prayer at Christ Church Cathedral in the nation’s capital Sunday in response to the Oct. 22 attack that left two people dead including a gunman, and paralyzed much of downtown Ottawa.

“It’s wonderful to see so many people of faith gathered together after the traumatic, horrific events on Wednesday, unified as one,” said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, one of several speakers at the service. “We’re here to support one another during what has been a very difficult week for our community. By being here you show that although we have been shaken, we’re still strong and will remain so.”

Dean Shane Parker of the Cathedral said the public “Prayer for Ottawa” service was aimed at creating an atmosphere of “unity, prayerful resolve and hope as we collectively come to terms with the affront and tragedy.”

Ottawa’s police chief, Jewish and Muslim leaders, the Chaplain-General of the Canadian Forces and others offered condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, killed by a masked gunman while standing guard at the National War Memorial. His funeral is to be held Oct. 28 at Christ’s Church (Anglican) Cathedral in Hamilton, Ont.

The gunman, identified by police as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, was later shot to death after he stormed the centre block of Parliament Hill and wounded a guard.

At the somber prayer service, Police Chief Charles Bordeleau said the members of Ottawa’s police service along with emergency service partners “are committed to protecting this community and all residents in its districts.” He also asked people to be vigilant and to report suspicious incidents by calling police. “We ask you to pay attention to your own community members who may be vulnerable to the ideas of organizations that promote hatred and violence,” he added.  “Standing strong against any word or action that promotes violence or hatred is the only stand that we should be taking.”

Padre John Fletcher, Chaplain General to the Canadian Forces, led the gathering in prayers, Rabbi Barry Schlesinger of the Agudath Israel Congregation gave a Talmudic reading, Imam Samy Metwally from the Ottawa Main Mosque read from the Quran, and Canon Catherine Ascah of Christ Church Cathedral read from the Gospel of Matthew. Abdul Rashid, co-chair of Interfaith Ottawa, read a statement of support from the Capital Region Interfaith Council.

Bishop John Chapman gave the benediction at the end of the hour-long service that included three motets by the Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys, directed by Matthew Larkin. Retired RCMP Staff Garth Hampson was the soloist for the singing of O Canada, as arranged by Larkin. Hampson’s son, Piper Sgt. Brad Hampson of the Ottawa Police service played Road to the Isles.

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Anglican Journal News, October 27, 2014

Primate says 2018 Lambeth unlikely

Posted on: October 24th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

 

By Leigh Anne Williams

 

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, and Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church, walk among other bishops on their way to Lambeth Palace at the start of the 2008 Lambeth Conference.   Photo: Marites N. Sison


Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, said he hasn’t heard directly from the Archbishop of Canterbury whether the next Lambeth Conference will be postponed, but “it’s pretty obvious that in all likelihood it would not be in 2018 because it takes three, four, years to plan.”

Hiltz responded in an interview with the Anglican Journal to media reports that the next Lambeth Conference, for which bishops from across the Anglican Communion usually gather every 10 years and which was expected to be in 2013, would may be delayed, perhaps until 2019 or 2020.

In an interview that aired Oct. 5 in a BBC Radio 4 Sunday program, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said that he was following through with a promise he made—to the primates of all provinces in the Anglican Communion when he was installed at Canterbury—to visit all primates in their home countries before consulting with them about the timing of the meeting. “The next Lambeth Conference needs to be called collegially by the primates together with real ownership of the agenda and a real sense of what we are trying to do with such a large effort, such costs,” he said. “And so when we meet as primates, which I hope [will be] with reasonable notice after the end of this trip that I have done, then we will decide together on the details, but the reality is that by then it will be too close to 2018 to have one in 2018.

Hiltz said that sort of consultation is “okay,” but noted that it is a change from the way the meeting has been called in the past. “He may want to style it so that it is the Archbishop of Canterbury in consultation with and support of the primates, but historically it is the Archbishop that convenes a Lambeth Conference, and then people decide whether they will come or not, including some primates.”

Although Welby told BBC Radio that he was “never going to say definitely,” he did say that “it would be enormously difficult simply to book a place big enough” to host the Lambeth Conference for 2018. “One of the places, the place that they’ve gone for the last few conferences, is already booked up for 2018. Two or three years is far too little [time] to arrange such a huge operation.”

Aside from such logistical challenges, Hiltz observed that the Archbishop hopes to host a Lambeth Conference that is broadly representative of the whole Anglican Communion. “The other piece that seems to be coming out of interviews he is doing in England is that his ardent hope is that we will get to a point in the Communion that when it’s called, everyone will come.”

The worldwide Anglican Communion has been divided over issues such as the blessing of same-sex unions and the consecration of bishops in same-sex relationships, and in the past, some bishops have boycotted the conference in protest. Also as a part of the BBC interview, Welby said that his tour of all provinces of the Communion, which should be complete by the end of November, has shown him that the Communion is “alive and incredibly vigorous. It is noisy, argumentative, diverse, has churches in 165 countries in 37 provinces. It would be bizarre if there were not tensions in something that was so incredibly diverse.” When the Lambeth Conference is called, Welby said primates “will make up their minds at the time” whether to attend. —with files from André Forget _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Anglican Journal News, October 23, 2014

Economy must serve life not profits, says Brazilian primate

Posted on: October 20th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

 

By André Forget

 

Anglican Episcopal Primate of Brazil Francisco de Assis da Silva meets with Canadian Primate Fred Hiltz in Toronto.


 

Francisco de Assis da Silva, Primate of Brazil and Bishop of South-Western Brazil, is in Canada this month to speak to the Synod of the Diocese of Ontario about the Church’s role in transforming the world. While visiting Toronto, he shared some of his insights about the mission of the church in the world today.

The primate has a number of connections to the diocese of Ontario. Not only was his home diocese of South-Western Brazil a companion diocese with Ontario during the time of his predecessor, Da Silva is also a friend of Ontario’s Bishop Michael Oulton, whom he met at the Canterbury course for new bishops. “Despite not having a formal companionship agreement,” da Silva said, “we are very, very close dioceses.”

But it was not just friendship that brought da Silva to Canada. When asked why he was asked to speak to synod, da Silva said “I think that when the bishop invited me, he was looking for a contribution from someone outside the country, and with the experience working with agencies and ecumenical organizations that are working with human rights, and environmental issues; to say that as church we can transform the world.”

For the primate, transforming the world is a key part of the Church’s mission. “Every community in our church is challenged to have a clear kind of interaction with the social context. This is part of our witness as church. We are not church to be a place to come Sunday to celebrate the eucharist and shake hands between members and sing and have a good preaching – the church goes beyond that.”

Da Silva spoke passionately of his conviction that the witness of the church cannot be divorced from its service in the world. “I think that from the context of the Anglican Church in Brazil, our church there is living a very insightful moment by taking seriously our commitment to justice, dignity, and peace,” he said. “We live in a context that was culturally conditioned by gender violence, by economic and social exclusion, and also by an appropriative way of exploiting creation.”

Da Silva knows of what he speaks. In addition to his work with the Anglican Church, he is also vice-moderator of Act Alliance, an ecumenical coalition of churches and affiliated organizations that works against poverty and marginalization worldwide of which the Canadian Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund is a member.

His analysis of the problems facing the world is one shaped by his work with those who have been excluded from economic prosperity. Speaking of the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis, he noted that “one trillion U.S. dollars could offer adequate help in the overcoming of poverty. But we have spent three trillion U.S. dollars to save interests, to save the salaries of high executives of banks. Something is wrong!” He went on to argue that “we need to address the crux of the problem – to make our system work for life, and not for profits. The economy exists to improve life, not the other way around.”

Da Silva’s comments speak to a growing reality. Recent data suggests that income inequality is a growing problem worldwide to the extent that in 2014 the World Economic Forum singled it out as one of the 10 global risks of highest concern. Brazil, especially, suffers from income disparity that the World Bank has called “excessive.”

And while the primate laughingly described himself at one point as being “very radical sometimes,” his passion for social justice seems closely tied to his faith. “We are citizens,” he said, “and as citizens, we need to witness our faith. And that is a faith committed to a different world in terms of justice, peace, and care of creation.”

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Anglican Journal News, October 20, 2014

M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE dies

Posted on: October 18th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
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M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE

August 28, 1945 – October 17, 2014

With great sadness, the SSJE community announces that our brother Tom Shaw died on October 17 at SSJE’s Emery House, in the care of his Brothers.  Br. Geoffrey Tristram, SSJE’s Superior, said, “Our brother Tom said during his last days he was so very, very thankful for the life God had given him: for the many wonderful people he had met, for the opportunities and challenges he had faced, and for the amazing grace he had experienced throughout his life.”

Br. Tom was diagnosed with brain cancer in May 2013 and continued active in his role as Bishop of Massachusetts until his retirement on September 13, 2014. He came to SSJE in 1975, having previously served as a parish priest. He served as the Superior of the SSJE community from 1982 until 1992. In September 1994 he was consecrated Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. Br. Tom was a man of deep prayer, a charismatic figure who connected easily with young and old alike, and an effective leader who helped shape SSJE’s life and ministry. He was known for his sometimes-mischievous sense of humor, his tenacious courage, and his passion to serve Jesus, both among the privileged and the poor.

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Society of St John the Evangelist (SSJE) e-mail, October 17, 2014

Canadian brings bridge-building skills to Communion

Posted on: October 16th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
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By André Forget

 

John Gibaut, current Director of the World Council of Churches Commission on Faith and Order, will replace Alyson Barnett-Cowan as Director of Unity, Faith and Order in the Anglican Communion. Photo: Bruce Myers ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

In March, Canadian ecumenist Canon John Gibaut will step into a new role as the director of Unity, Faith and Order of the Anglican Communion. Leaders in the Anglican Church of Canada have expressed their excitement about Gibaut’s new position, stressing his skills and extensive experience in ecumenical work and noting that his appointment highlights gifts that Canadians bring to the broader church.

Gibaut is currently serving as Director of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission on Faith and Order and has spent the past seven years doing ecumenical work in Geneva, during which time he was the principle editor of the groundbreaking WCC paper The Church: Towards a Common Vision in 2013. He replaces current director Alyson Barnett-Cowan, also a Canadian, who has been in the position since 2009.

Commenting on the Gibaut’s appointment, announced on Oct. 9, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada was ebullient. “John is going to bring all of that experience of having been at the WCC … I think that the Communion was very well served by Alyson Barnett-Cowan, and to have John Gibaut coming behind her, I think it’s going to be a pretty smooth transition.”

The department of Unity, Faith and Order is responsible for promoting and participating in dialogue with other denominations and expressions of Christianity, and in recent years it has also come to deal with some of the internal tensions inside the Anglican Communion.

Archdeacon Bruce Myers, co-ordinator for ecumenical relations for the Anglican Church of Canada’s General Synod, pointed to Gibaut’s skills as a bridge-builder as being a key asset he will bring to the position. “I think John is incredibly well-suited to step into that role for all sorts of reasons. He’s just spent the last seven years as an agent of reconciliation within the ecumenical movement, working with literally dozens of different churches and expressions of Christianity on issues of trying to find theological solutions to some of our historical divisions.”

Gibaut’s own understanding of his role as an ecumenist is one rooted in his faith in the idea of Church as communion. Speaking to the Anglican Journal about the importance of dialogue in the life of the Church, he stressed the relationship between communion and unity. “This is the witness that the world needs. Communion is a gift by which the Church lives, but at the same time it is the gift that God calls it to offer to a divided and wounded humanity. So you and I can disagree sharply on an issue … but still, I am in Communion with you, and nothing can shake that. That is the witness that the world needs today from the Church.”

Interestingly, Gibaut is the fourth Canadian to hold the position in the past 25 years. When asked if there was a special significance to this fact, Hiltz noted that within the Anglican Communion Canadians have always had a reputation for being good conversation partners. “They are known for their commitment to what I would call the fullness of ecumenism, that is, not just the faith and order stuff around ecumenism but the social justice stuff associated with ecumenism and being able to work together.”

Myers also believes that the number of Canadians is significant. “Four out of five tends to suggest that it’s more than just a coincidence. There’s something that the Canadian church has a particular charism or vocation for within the wider communion when it comes to working for reconciliation, not just with other communions and churches in the world but within our own Anglican communion.”

Gibaut’s nuanced understanding of communion will certainly be important for the global Anglican Church, which continues to struggle with the question of how Christians who disagree on certain theological issues should relate to each other. But as Hiltz noted, Gibaut is prepared for the challenges of the position. “He’s coming in with eyes wide open, and he’s bringing a brilliant mind and a huge heart for the communion. And I think we’re going to be incredibly well served.” ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Anglican Journal News, October 16, 2014

Canadian ecumenist heads to Anglican Communion

Posted on: October 14th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
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By Anglican Communion News Service

 

Canon John Gibaut (left), pictured here with Pope Francis, is well-known in ecumenical circles. Photo: Courtesy of John Gibaut/ACNS


The Revd Canon Dr John Gibaut has been appointed to succeed the Revd Canon Dr Alyson Barnett-Cowan in March as Director for Unity, Faith and Order of the Anglican Communion.

Canon Gibaut is currently the Director of the World Council of Churches’ Commission on Faith and Order based in Geneva Switzerland. Faith and Order is the theological commission that resolves issues of Christian disunity, and promotes a vision of the Church as a communion of unity in diversty.

A priest and canon theologian of the Diocese of Ottawa, Anglican Church of Canada, Canon Gibaut is currently an assistant priest of Eglise St-Germain, Geneva, église catholique-chrétienne (Old Catholic Diocese of Switzerland). Previously to his appointment to the WCC position, he was a professor at Faculty of Theology, Saint Paul University, Ottawa. Here he taught in the areas of ecumenism, liturgy, church history, historical theology, homiletics, and Anglican studies. Canon Gibaut has also served at Toronto’s St James’s Cathedral and St Clement’s Mission Centre in the Diocese of Quebec.

Well known in ecumenical circles, the 55-year-old Canadian has served on several national and international dialogues and commissions including the International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue, the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations, and the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order.

Responding to his appointment, Canon Gibaut said, “I am excited to take up the post of Director of Unity, Faith and Order of the Anglican Communion, and to continue the fine work undertaken by Alyson Barnett-Cowan and her predecessors in this office. “The Anglican Communion has a robust tradition of ecumenical engagement that has contributed so much to the unity of the Church, including the World Council of Churches. It is a particular privilege for me to bring to the Anglican Communion the experience that I have gained during the past seven years working at the World Council of Churches and its Commission on Faith and Order. “I look forward to accompanying the Anglican Communion, as together we rediscover and proclaim a compelling vision of Communion as the gift by which the Church lives, and at the same time, the gift that God calls the Church to offer to a wounded and divided humanity.”

Secretary General of the Anglican Communion Canon Kenneth Kearon welcomed the appointment, “There are few more important positions in the Anglican Communion than that of Director for Unity, Faith and Order, a role which supports and enables our relationships with other Christian churches and communions, our ecumenical dialogues, and our internal conversations about our faith. “In Canon Gibaut we will have someone of immense experience, ability and wisdom to lead us. I am truly delighted he has accepted this position, and wish him and his wife Terri every blessing as they prepare for this transition to London and the Anglican Communion Office.”

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Anglican Journal News, October 10, 2014

Anglican theologian Bishop Stephen Sykes dies

Posted on: October 13th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments
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Bishop Stephen Sykes, had “a career of considerable academic distinction” ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Right Reverend Stephen Sykes, who has died aged 75, was Bishop of Ely from 1990 to 1999 and one of the most distinguished prelates of his time. His tenure was, however, a comparatively brief interlude in a career of considerable academic distinction: he moved to Ely from the Regius chair of Divinity at Cambridge, and before that held the Van Mildert chair of Divinity at Durham.

Sykes belonged firmly to the Church of England’s liberal wing before this had been overtaken by the rise of Evangelicalism and the often bitter divisions over the issue of women priests and bishops. He was a powerful defender of the historic Anglican tradition of equal regard for Scripture, Tradition and Reason in the defining of faith. A prolific writer, he published The Integrity of Anglicanism (1978), Unashamed Anglicanism (1985) and The Study of Anglicanism (1988), which remain standard texts.

Yet he recognised the importance of other traditions, and was an authority on the work of the notable Swiss theologian Karl Barth. He edited two valuable volumes of essays, Karl Barth: Studies in Theological Method (1980) and Karl Barth Centenary Essays (1989). Another collection of essays, England and Germany: Studies in Theological Diplomacy (1982), confirmed the breadth of his outlook.

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Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS), October 10, 2014